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Alabama Gold

Saugahatchee Creek Gold

by James Mallonee

Saugahatchee Creek is north of Reel Town on Highway 49 in Tallapoosa County.

There are several pull off areas by the bridge over the creek and ample parking. Many people come here to swim, fish, or ... pan for GOLD!

I like the area, because it has an interesting geological formation. There is granite just under the bridge and east of the bridge, however there is a line of "darkened" rock to the west of the bridge, which appears to be the limit of the granite outcropping.

Just after the granite stops, the rocks turn into a type of schist with a lot of iron content. I have found pieces that will respond readily to a magnet. I have also found quite a few small dark red garnets and pyrite cubes.

Pretty much any gravel bar will have SOME gold, however the best locations to pan are places you can get down to the clay layer. I like the blue clays the best, because they haven't been turned over for quite some time if ever.

The gold here is fine flower gold, not as fine as in some places in Alabama. There isn't a lot of gold, and you will probably be lucky if you run more than 4 or 5 colors to a pan. However, since the flakes are larger than some other places, it makes them much easier to spot when you do find them.

Some people run dredges in the creek. Please be aware that the land on both sides of the creek is owned by a hunting club, and they will get upset if you are very loud during hunting season. They cannot "legally" run you off because the stream is considered navigable, however... Better safe than sorry.

James Mallonee